Archive for the ‘Personal Posts’ Category

A Quick Trip To San Francisco… Who Has Interesting Things To Show Me?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

This weekend I’m nipping over to San Franciso and the Bay Area – as you do – with a view to meet as many people as possible for coffee, snacks, lunch, and dinner. If you’re reading this and around between Sunday 27th and Wednesday 30th, let’s meet up, you all know how to reach me.

And anyone who has something interesting to show me with my Forbes hat on that pushes new technology in mobile, and social media, reach out to me via email (ewanspence@gmail.com).

Living Like An Online Swan

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Paul Jarvis raises a point on Medium that is always worth repeating:

What I share online only represents a tiny portion of my life. Sure, I live a pretty decent life, and really don’t have anything tocomplain about, but still?—?it’s not nearly as interesting as a lot of folks assume. And conversely, I’m sure a lot of folks I assume have an amazingly awesome, super interesting life are exactly the same.

I always say that life, especially online life, is like a swan. Everyone looking at someone else sees the graceful moves, the supple neck, the effortless gliding from one shore to another. Underneath the waterline is another story… it’s ugly, it’s splashy, it’s frantic, and it’s a heck of a lot of effort (much of it wasted) to get any sort of traction.

Never forget that I’m a swan in every respect:

So when I think about what I’m doing, I have to remember I’m not comparing like with like. The failures and knock-backs that I receive, the moments where getting the words out of my head and onto the screen are like detention with Umbridge, the struggle to get a work-life balance… everyone I am talking to have these moments as well.

I have to remember when I tell people some of the things I have been up to in the last year, they only see the top of my iceberg, so they are comparing my success with their struggles. We’re all human, we’re all putting on the best show for everyone else, and we’re all paddling furiously under the water thinking we are going nowhere fast.

I appreciate every day just how hard everyone is paddling.

That’s my Christmas sorted

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

How can you lose a referendum and then win the election?

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Professor John Curtice writes at FiveThirtyEight on the SNP and the upcoming General Election vote in Scotland:

There are three main parts to the answer. The first is that May’s election is being held under very different rules from the referendum. Second, the question of what Scotland’s constitutional status should be now matters more to voters than it did in the past. And third, the SNP has come to be regarded by many voters as the party keenest on creating a more equal society.

At 45 percent, the average level of support for the SNP in current Scotland-wide polls matches the percentage that the “yes” side won in the referendum. Indeed, it also equals the 45 percent that the SNP won in the election to the devolved Scottish Parliament held in May 2011. The crucial difference is that whereas 45 percent is always insufficient to win a referendum, it can be enough to win a landslide in an election that is held under the first-past-the-post electoral system and in which a multitude of parties are in contention.

This is a good primer for anyone wondering how you can go from losing the referendum on Independence in September 2014, and then potentially hold the balance of power in Westminster in May 2015.

Get the most from SXSW with my introductory podcasts

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

SXSW is here, and that means I’m in Austin, Texas for the usual jamboree of music, film, and interactive bits and pieces. As always I’ll be blogging, interviewing, and podcasting, over at sxswbaby.com. As part of that, there’s a series of podcasts on how to get the most out of SXSW. You could subscribe to the podcast (here’s the RSS feed), but to get you started, here’s the three ‘primers’ for the two weeks in sunny Austin.

The Beginner’s Podcast

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The Intermediate Podcast

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The Ninja Podcast

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And I’ll have more from Austin and SXSW every day at SXSW Baby!

Support for this year’s podcasts comes from HipChat. Bring your team to life, with group and private chat, file sharing, and integrations, all at hipchat.com.

That’s what being alive is all about

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

From @TerryAndRob

Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

Probably one of the most gut-punch tweets you’ll read in a long time, even if we knew it was coming. Rest well…

Buying stuff and supporting the indies in 2015

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

One of the things I want to do this year is support more creative and independent people out there, both through links and coverage in places like SXSW Baby! or Edinburgh Nights), but also through buying their stuff. It might be a few pounds online for a shareware registration fee, a CD, or a crowd funding project for a book, but I’m going to push a bit more on that door in 2015.

Starting with the OSX screen saver that everyone seems to love (or at least asks about) on my Mac. It’s a series of animated slides lifted from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’  representing the control screens on the USS Discovery and the Hal 9000 computer. Geeky, gorgeous;y functional to look at, and a great conversation piece with everyone who recognises it.

Find out more at halproject.com.

I posted this on January the 2nd.

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Not posting on January 1st means I don;t have to worry about any sort of ‘try and post every day on your blog’… so I wrote this on the second of the month, but I backdated it because much as I know I’m not going to write on this blog every day, I do write every day, and want to show that.

Or it’s OCD, go figure.

Kirsty

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

It’s December 18th again. Damn.

What if terrorists used pictures of cats?

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Two things to note from the lunacy of ‘social networks should tell Teresa May when someone is being a terrorist online’ and §  the ‘former global counter-terrorism director of MI6’ writing in The Guardian:

…even in the United Kingdom there are about 25 million users of Facebook and so let’s say possibly about 125m posts a day. And even if you take out all the pictures of kittens which were put up you’d still be left with an awful lot to go through

and

…people who wanted to get around restrictions placed on their communications could probably do so quite easily by using encryption.

What if they were to encrypt their communications in the pictures of cats that MI6 discard?

Scotland’s obvious Plan B is playing out as expected

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Miranda Green in Newsweek:

What they may not realise, or not fully, is the extent to which Salmond may be preparing to work from the Commons in concert with Nicola Sturgeon in Holyrood to exploit Cameron’s promise of a referendum on EU membership. In this ‘Plan B’ any boost to the self-government of Scotland will help. “Nicola is preparing the ground for a blocking position. If we are in this quasi-federal position then each of the constituent parts [of the UK] has to decide to jump out together. Not one part saying ‘right, I’m jumping out, you lot, you’re just coming wi’us. And you know, if Westminster doesn’t like that, there’s an obvious solution.”

This last threat ends with the hardest, longest and fiercest glare yet – an EU referendum in which England voted for ‘out’ but Scotland voted for ‘in’ could provoke a crisis that achieves independence by the back door.

The best of this is that almost everyone following saw this plan coming the second Salmond stepped down… except Westminster. If the Lib-Dems crash and burn, and Labour supporters in Scotland Swing 40 seats from Labour to SNP, you could due looking at the SNP as the third party in a hung Westminster parliament, with Alex Salmond getting two questions every Wednesday at PMQs.

As all the good Westerns go there’s one more mission for the warhorse running interference and blocking for his protege back in the homestead.

The Chuckle Brothers, ft Tinchy Stryder

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The world needs more Barry and Paul in the charts, and congrats to Stryder for being a great sport.

Ready… Aim… Fold… FLY!

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Because what the world needs is more Paper Aeroplane Guns. A4 sheets in the magazine, perfectly folded wings of death from the muzzle.

A new home for my blog

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Yes, it looks remarkably like the old home, I’m not one for major redesigns for a web blog just because the seasons change. All that’s happened is the blog has moved to ewanspence.co.uk/blog, so if you have any bookmarks, go right ahead and update them. There might be a few teething troubles with lingering references to the old site, if you spot any, do let me know.

The problem with Boba-Fett

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Every time I hear something about Star Wars’ favourite bounty hunter, Boba Fett I shudder. That includes the latest speculation that he’s getting a standalone film. Why? Because  he’s played by Jeremy Bulloch, and I know him from another film.

You see, Boba Fett is Cliff Richard’s comic relief in ‘Summer Holiday‘.